66 Hero Cards
Game by D. Brad Talton Jr.
Presented by Level 99 Games
Illustrated by Fábio Fontes
Development Team
Christopher Smith, Joshua
Van Laningham,
Samuel Tapper, Michael
Robles, JR Honeycutt
Playtesters Ty Arnold, Kier
Arnold, Matt Phelps
Proofreaders Akvo, Daniel
DeMars, Joshua Van
Laningham, Sascha Parsa,
Joe Zabrowski, Eric Lebigot
Special Thanks The Dice
Tower, Watch it Played!,
Board Game Geek, Jasco
Games, Sirlin Games, Tasty
Minstrel Games, Q Games,
Gamelyn Games, Dice Hate
Me Games, Portal Games,
Smirk and Dagger Games,
Tuesday Knight Games,
Cheapass Games, Lone
Shark Games, Alderac
Entertainment Group, Plaid
Hat Games, Stronghold
Games, Black Box Games,
Scott Morris, Rich Sommer,
Antoine Bauza, Boyan
Radkovich, Ranter Works,
Floodgate Games
40 Base Cards
68 Common Cards
58 HD Leader Cards
2 Reference Cards
6 Blank Cards
1 Markers Punch Sheet
20 Set Dividers
Skip the rulebook!
visit to watch a
tutorial video!
The goal of Pixel Tactics is to
choose a Leader, build a cohesive
Unit of Heroes around that Leader,
and then use it to destroy the Rival's
Unit. You win as soon as you are able
to defeat your Rival's Leader.
The game plays in Rounds, and each
Round is broken down into three
Waves. Each Wave consists of one
turn per player, and each player’s
turn consists of two actions.
Use actions to recruit, attack,
support, and rout your Rival’s Unit.
May the best tactician win!
Thank you so much for taking the
time to play my little game, Pixel
Pixel Tactics is a game that has
been developed and redeveloped
over the course of three years by
myself and the team here at Level 99
Games. When we published the first
Pixel Tactics in January of 2013 as
part of the Minigame Library, we had
no idea how the game would catch
on and how fans would receive its
novel gameplay.
Reception to the game since that
initial release has been widespread,
and the game has caught on as one
of the most-loved games that I’ve
ever had the fun of designing.
In this new edition, Pixel Tactics
Deluxe, we present to you a set
of brand new Heroes, optimized
gameplay, and improved production
quality never had before in the
My hope is that Pixel Tactics will
bring you, your friends, and your
rivals countless hours of enjoyment!
-D. Brad Talton Jr.
Pixel Tactics Designer
First, let’s take a look at the
cards. Each card has 3 different
ways it can be used:
1. A Leader is played at the
beginning of the match, and usually
provides bonuses to the entire Unit.
Leaders are always in the Flank
Wave of the Unit. The red sword
and blue shield shows their Attack
Strength and Life.
2. A Hero is played using the
Recruit Action. Heroes have different
Abilities based on where they stand
in relation to their Leader. The red
sword and blue shield show the
Attack Strength and Life total of
the Hero.
Leader Side
Hero Side
Operation (Replaces Order)
Trap (Replaces Order)
2a. Vanguard Heroes are
those in front of the Leader. These
often have defensive or offensive
abilities. They are able to use their
Vanguard Powers (the first/red
2b. Flank Heroes are those
on either side of the Leader. These
usually offer improvements to their
allies or tactical abilities. They are
able to use their Flank Powers (the
second/green power).
2c. Rear Heroes are those
behind the Leader. These usually
give support abilities or have Ranged
Attacks. They are able to use their
Rear Powers (the third/blue power).
Important Note: Heroes are
not Leaders! Any effect that
refers to Leaders or Heroes
specifically does not work on
the other type.
3. An Order is played from your
Hand as a one-time effect. Orders
are powerful, but they go to the
Discard Pile after resolving, so
saving them or using them at the
right moment is critical. The Order is
the fourth box (purple) on a Hero’s
Operations have a
Scroll Icon
next to them, and have a gray
background. Operations are played
in the Reserve Slot row behind your
3b. Some cards have Traps
instead. Traps are placed face-down,
and activated when they become
relevant, interrupting the Rival’s
turn. Traps have a
Trap Icon
next to them, and have an orange
background. Traps are played in the
Reserve Slot row behind your Unit.
Vanguard Row
Flank Row
Rear Row
Reserve Slots
takes two actions.
To start a match of Pixel Tactics,
each player shuffles his or her
Deck together and draws a Hand
of 5 cards. He turns these upside
down so that their Leader sides are
visible, and selects one to be the
Leader for his Unit. Both players
put their Leaders face-down, then
reveal them at the same time.
The game takes place in rounds,
and each round consists of 3 Waves.
During each Wave each player takes
1 Turn.
The Leader stands at the center
of each Unit, and the eight Slots
around them can be filled with
Heroes. A Hero’s row is determined
by its position relative to your
Leader, so you don’t need any kind
of mat or board to play Pixel Tactics.
After setup, randomly determine
which player will take the first turn.
This begins the Vanguard Wave. Place
the Current Wave Marker beside the
first player’s Vanguard row. During
a Wave, the first player takes two
actions, and then the second player
To the right, you can see two Units
ready to battle. Leaders always
stand at the Unit’s center.
After setup is complete, each
player should have a Leader in
play, a Deck of cards, a Hand (with
4 cards), and a discard pile (which
begins empty).
Once both players have completed
two actions, the game moves onto
the Flank Wave. Once both players
complete a Turn during a Flank Wave,
they move on to the Rear Wave.
Move the Current Wave Marker
appropriately whenever the first
player begins a wave. At the end of
each wave, causalities are checked
and any Hero with damage equal to
or exceeding their life is defeated.
When the Rear Wave is complete,
the round ends, and First Player
changes sides. Then a new round
begins with a new Vanguard Wave,
and so on, until one Leader or the
other falls. Pass the Current Wave
Marker to the new first player, who
sets it beside his Vanguard row.
The ‘Current Wave’ and First/
Second Player Markers can be used
to keep track of their respective
things during play.
During the First Round, there is a
Ceasefire. While in Ceasefire:
- Players cannot declare Attacks
or cast Spells against a Player in
- Orders and Operations cannot be
interact with your Hand or Unit.
- Traps cannot be activated (they
can still be placed).
Use your 2 actions to build up your
Unit and destroy your Rivals’ Units!
Draw a Card
You draw a card from your Deck.
If your Deck is empty or if you have
5 or more cards in Hand, this action
is no longer available. You do not
have to discard cards for having
too many in Hand, but you cannot do
this Action if your Hand is too large.
A Player’s maximum Hand Size is
five. If the amount of cards in your
Hand has reached your maximum
Hand Size, you cannot use the Draw
Action (you may still draw through
the use of other Abilities).
Cast a Spell*
Some Heroes and Leaders have
Spells. Spells are special actions
that a Hero performs, which are not
Attacks. A Hero cannot Attack or
Move in the same turn the Spell was
cast. Spell abilities have a
Icon next to them. A Hero recruited
during this Wave may not cast a
Spell of any kind.
Note: In previous editions, Spells
These two terms can be used
Leader Actions
Recruit a Hero*
Some Leaders will give you new
kinds of actions you can use. The
effects of these actions are detailed
on the Leader card, and they can
typically be used in any Wave.
Reveal the Order from your Hand,
follow all of its purple ‘Order’ text,
then discard it. For the moment while
an Order is activating, it is neither in
your Hand nor in your Discard Pile.
You may play a Hero into an empty
slot in the current Wave (for example,
during the Vanguard Wave, you can
only recruit to empty spaces in your
You may use a Hero in the current
Wave (or the Leader, if this is the
Flank Wave) to make an Attack. A
Hero recruited during this Wave
may not declare an Attack of any
kind. A single Hero or Leader can
only Attack once per Wave. A Hero
cannot Cast a Spell or Move in the
same turn they Attack. Attacking is
discussed in more detail on page 7.
Play an Order
You may move a Hero from
anywhere in your Unit into any empty
Unit Slot. A Hero cannot Cast a Spell
or Attack in the same turn they
Move. Leaders cannot be moved. A
Hero recruited during this Wave may
not Move.
Note: In previous editions, Move
was called “Restructure”. These two
terms can be used interchangeably.
Clear a Corpse
When Heroes fall in battle, they
leave Corpses behind in the Unit.
These might be revived later on, but
if you have no plans to revive a Hero
(or if you fear your Rival may revive
it and use it against you) then you
can clear the corpse. Simply move
the corpse into the card’s owner’s
Discard Pile. Since Heroes can only
be played into empty spaces in the
Unit, you will need to clear corpses
eventually in longer battles. You
can clear corpses in any Wave,
regardless of the currently active
Switch*(Long Action)
Switch allows you to swap the
positions of two Heroes or Corpses
(or any combination thereof) within
your Unit.
Play an Operation
instead of Orders. These cards have
Scroll Icon next to them and a
gray background. Operations come
into play in one of your 3 Reserve
Slots with 4 Time Markers on them,
and one marker is removed at the
end of each of its controller’s turns.
When a marker cannot be removed,
discard the Operation instead. While
an Operation is in play, its effects
are continuous.
Operations take up one of your
Reserve Slots at the back of your
Unit, and you will not be able to play
them if these are full.
Note: Operations can only come
into play through this action or
cards that reference Operations
Operations on them do not have
any Order effect. The Order effect
is considered blank if triggered by
another card.
Operations were called “Ongoing
Orders”. These two terms can be
used interchangeably.
Place a Trap
Some cards have Traps instead of
Orders. These cards have a
icon next to them and an orange
background. When you place a Trap,
put it face-down behind the Rear
row of your Unit, in a Reserve Slot.
You have 3 Reserve Slots for Traps
and Operations, and you cannot
place new Traps if these are full.
Note: Traps can only come into
play through this action (or effects
Cards which have Traps on them
do not have any Order effect. The
Order effect is considered blank if
triggered by another card.
Activate a Trap*
(Free Action)
Whenever the conditions are right,
you can activate a Trap that you
placed on a previous turn (you
cannot activate a Trap the same
turn you place it). Your Rival can
respond to your Trap with another
Trap, and so on, until no player
wishes to use a Trap. Unless the
Trap says otherwise, activation is
always optional. You cannot react to
your own traps.
Clear a Trap or
You can discard a Trap or Operation
from your Reserve Slots.
You may pass your actions. This
ends your turn.
* Actions with this mark are
carried out by your Heroes.
cannot do more than one of
these things per turn. If an
ability on a card triggers one
of these actions, this does not
count towards this limit.
Long Actions take up two of
your actions to use. You cannot use
a Long Action unless you have at
least two actions left this turn.
Free Actions do not take up one
of your actions to use. You can use
Free Actions as often as you want.
However, restrictions on the actions
of Heroes still apply (so if “Attacking
is a Free Action for you.”, you still
could not Attack more than once
with each Hero in your Unit. You can
still take Free Actions after your
normal Actions. Your Turn is not over
until you have used (or passed) your
actions and declare it over.
Limited Actions
used once per turn.
A card will usually say what it is
targeting or affecting, such as “A
Hero gains [Intercept].” An Order
such as “Choose a column and
apply 2 damage to all Heroes in that
column.” targets the column and not
the Heroes, so an effect that says,
“This Hero cannot be targeted by
Orders.” would not work in this case.
Ranged Attacks
Action, you will choose a Hero in your
current Wave to make the Attack,
as well as a target in the opposing
Unit. When an Attack is performed,
the Attacker deals damage to the
target equal to the Attack Strength
of the Attacker.
A few Heroes have the ability
Intercept, which means that Rival’s
Ranged Attacks cannot pass over
them. This makes them especially
useful for protecting your Rear and
Flank Heroes, as well as your Leader.
An Intercepting Hero defends the
one or two Heroes behind it in the
same column, taking the Attack for
them instead. A Hero with Intercept
can still be targeted by Ranged and
Melee Attacks as normal.
Melee Attacks
All Heroes can perform a Melee
Attack, but both the Attacker and
the target must be “in Melee” to
do so. Only the foremost Hero or
Leader in each column is considered
“in Melee”. The red borders in the
diagram to the right show who is
considered “in Melee” in this example.
Not Blocked!
Ranged Attacks
Only Heroes who have the Ranged
Attack ability may perform Ranged
Attacks. A Ranged Attack can come
from any Hero or Leader, and can
target any Hero or Leader.
An example of
Ranged Attacking.
The Leader is
protected by the
Interceptor in the
Vanguard but the
Flank Hero is not.
Many Hero Effects will tell you to
do something whenever another
condition is met or another effect
happen after the triggering condition
effects trigger simultaneously, the
active player resolves effects, then
the opponent. Players order their
effects in the order of their choice.
Heroes) have special powers that
occur instead of Attacking. For
example, a Hero may say “Spell: A
Rival discards a card”. These are
optional alternate actions that can
be used in place of making the Hero
Attack. They still count as an action
for that Hero, so you can’t use them
more than once in a Wave, and the
same Hero cannot use both their
Spell and a Melee/Ranged Attack.
Spells do not apply damage or have a
target, unless they specifically say
otherwise. Spells are not Attacks.
Note: In older versions of Pixel
Tactics, Spells were called “Attack
Powers”. These terms can be used
Passive Abilities
Other than Spells (those that
say ‘Spell: …’), all Hero abilities are
constantly active, and work as soon
as they become relevant.
Common Terms and
Unit - All Heroes and Leaders on
one team, collectively.
Forerunner – The Hero or
Leader directly in front of this
Supporter – The Hero
or Leader directly behind this
Attack Strength – The damage
dealt by a Hero’s Attack.
Defeat a Hero – The Hero is
instantly turned face-down to
become a Corpse.
Apply Damage – Place damage
markers on the target. This is
not an Attack.
A Hero / Any Hero – Unless
a Unit is specified, you can
choose targets in any Unit
controlled by either Player.
Revive a Corpse – Flip a
Corpse over, turning it back
into a Hero. A revived Hero can
act immediately.
A Rival/Any Rival – The Player
or Players you are currently
battling against.
Remove Damage - Remove the
amount of damage indicated. If
there is not enough damage to
remove, remove as much as
Draw a card/cards – Draw
a card/cards from the top
of your Deck. Unless stated,
drawing cards with an ability is
not considered using the Draw
Hero (Vanguard/
Flank/Rear – A Hero in a
specific Wave.
Discard Pile - The pile where
many cards go when used.
This includes cleared Corpses,
resolved Orders, Operations,
Traps, etc. Cards are face-up
here unless otherwise stated.
Cards always go to their
owner’s Discard Piles.
Note: Colored outlines on an icon
indicate what the type of icon is
affecting specifically.
Red indicates a Rival.
ex. “a Rival Corpse”
Blue indicates you.
ex. “your Hand”
Purple indicates the owner
something (usually a card).
ex. “Owner’s Deck”
Orange indicates another.
ex. “another Leader”
When a Hero or Leader is hit with
an Attack, place damage counters
on it to show how much damage it
has taken. These damage counters
remain in place until the Hero is
removed from play or until an effect
removes the counters.
This Hero will be defeated at the
end of the current Wave.
At the end of each Wave, casualties
are checked. Any Hero with damage
equal to or exceeding its life is
considered defeated.
A Hero with lethal damage (damage
equal to or beyond its Life total)
can continue to fight, act, and be
healed throughout a Wave. Only at
the end of a Wave are casualties
When a Hero is defeated, all
damage is removed from it, and it
is flipped face-down, becoming a
Corpse. Corpses cannot Attack,
they do not block Melee Attacks,
and new Heroes cannot be played
on top of them. Only by clearing a
Corpse can you play a new Hero into
its Slot.
Some effects can revive Corpses,
and some Leaders can even use
them to Attack, so it’s not always
necessary to clear every Hero that
falls. Sometimes it’s advantageous
to keep them around.
Status Effects are continuous
effects that alter Heroes stats
or Abilities. Some will increase or
effects will add or remove Abilities.
Status Effects work regardless of
what row the Hero is in.
Status Effects are denoted with
[Braces] on cards that create and
remove them.
If a Hero’s maximum Life is reduced
to zero, the Hero is defeated
during casualty checks (even with
no damage, its damage equals or
exceeds its Life).
At the end of a Wave, casualties
are checked, and Lancer
becomes a Corpse.
A Player’s maximum Hand Size is
five. If the amount of cards in your
Hand has reached your maximum
Hand Size, you cannot use the Draw
Action (you may still draw through
the use of other Abilities).
Certain abilities may increase or
decrease your maximum Hand Size.
If this happens, the above rule
regarding the Draw Action applies to
your new maximum Hand Size.
Some effects generate multiple
Status Effects, like “[+1 Attack] x2”.
This means to place two +1 Attack
Status Effects on the Hero. Each
one of these will have to be removed
If two opposing Status Effects are
active on the same Hero at the same
time, they cancel one another out.
For example, if you had [+1 Attack] and
[-1 Attack] on the same Hero, then
they would both immediately be
[No Special Abilities] - The
Status Effect [No Special Abilities]
causes a Hero’s Vanguard, Flank,
and Rear Ability text to become
blank. It does not interfere with any
other Status Effects or granted
abilities (such as the card behind it
that says “Forerunner takes 2 less
damage from Attacks”).
While it’s usually a good idea to
set up Interceptors to protect your
Leader, you don’t always need to
have an army on round one. Draw a
few times instead, and you can form
a more cohesive and structured
Unit with the synergy to beat some
cobbled-together shock troops.
Don’t underestimate the power of
the Move and Switch Actions. If you
have extra actions, consider moving
your Heroes as an alternative to
drawing more cards.
Each card has a certain theme
to it. The Tinkerer is very good at
drawing cards from your Deck, while
the Electromancer can disrupt your
Rival, and the Cook will heal allies.
Once you have played a card a few
times, you’ll learn how to use its
strengths for each situation.
It’s often better to go second
during a Round, since you can
respond to your Rival’s attacks and
plays. Save healing orders for those
Rounds when you can use them most
effectively and keep alive Heroes
which might otherwise die.
If you’re going first during a round,
you can utilize instant-kill orders and
Spells like the Lancer to make sure
Rivals don’t retaliate against you.
These abilities don’t wait for the
end of a Wave to cause casualties.
High power Leaders can be lethal
in Melee, but opening them up to
make Melee Attacks is often as
much of a liability as a boon. Gauge
your Rival’s Unit strength and see
what you have to gain before letting
your Leader join the fray.
If a Leader has damage equal to
or exceeding its life total at the end
of a Wave, then the entire Unit is in
rout (a disorderly retreat), and the
match ends. The player who still has
a standing Leader is considered the
winner of the match. If both would
rout at the same time, the Unit with
more living Heroes wins. If this is
also the same, the game is a tie.
The player whose Leader remains
standing claims the defeated Leader
and his own Leader and sets these
two cards to the side in a facedown stack to create a trophy.
They will not be reshuffled back into
the Deck during future matches of
this game.
The Next Game
A typical match plays to best of
three or five trophies–whichever
number players agreed upon. The
first player to claim two trophies in
a best of three game, or to claim
three trophies in a best of five
game, is the winner of the game.
If no player has won the game
after claiming trophies, proceed to
the next match. From here on out,
both players’ Decks will be one card
smaller. In addition, for each trophy
your Rival possesses, you draw one
additional card at the start of the
game, before selecting Leaders.
This slight card advantage will give
you more control over your Leader
selection, and give you a head start
on army building.
The player who won the previous
match is always the First Player at
the start of the next match.
Once you’ve played the standard
Pixel Tactics game, you can build
your own Decks to experiment with
new possibilities. The more cards
you own, the more options you have
when building your Deck!
The following two formats describe
overarching rules for Deck
There are two formats of Deck:
Standard and Epic.
There are six ways to Deckbuild:
Combination, Constructed, and
three different ways to Draft. Draft
is the recommended Deckbuilding
Once you and your friends have built
Decks, you can play tournaments,
special game modes, and more.
A Standard Pixel Tactics Deck has
exactly 4 Leaders and no fewer
than 25 Heroes. There is a maximum
Deck size of 30 Heroes.
You cannot have the same card in
your Leader stack and Hero stack.
Only one copy of each card can be
in a Deck.
When building your Deck, you will
designate specific cards as Leaders
or Heroes. Once you’ve designated
a card as a Leader or Hero for
your Deck, it will not change types
during play. You can only use your
designated Leaders as Leaders, and
you can only use your designated
Heroes as Heroes.
When playing with a built Deck, you
will select your Leader from your
pool of Leaders before drawing
your opening hand, and you will draw
1 fewer card when drawing your
opening hand (so you’ll begin with 4
Heroes in hand).
Card Pool - A card pool is the
collection of cards that you build
your Deck with. You can only use
cards from within your card pool
when constructing a Deck.
An Epic Pixel Tactics Deck has
exactly 4 Leaders and no fewer
than 60 Heroes. There is a maximum
Deck size of 80 Heroes.
There can be up to 3 copies of
each card in your Deck. Cards which
are Leaders may also appear in your
Hero Deck, but you may not have
more than 3 copies of the same
card between both Decks.
The different methods of
Deckbuilding allow players to play
with larger groups and participate
in different kinds of modes.
Core Set Deck - A core set
deck is a set of 25 cards with a
blue or red back.
Minipak - A minipak is a set of
8 cards that come with both red
and blue backs.
Combination allows for a customDeck experience without the hassle
of Deckbuilding.
For a Standard Combined Deck,
combine one color of a regular Core
Set and one Minipak.
For an Epic Combined Deck, combine
one color of two regular Core Sets
and two Minipaks, one Core set and
five Minipaks, or eight Minipaks.
After you build your Combination
Deck, randomly choose 4 cards from
the Deck to be Leaders. The rest of
the cards form the Hero Deck.
The Card Pool for Constructed
Deckbuilding is all the cards that
you own (but if you are playing in a
League, this may not be the case).
You get to freely choose which cards
in your pool will become Heroes and
When constructing, all of your
cards must have the same back
design. Alternatively, you are allowed
to use different back designs if you
own opaque card sleeves.
Promotional Cards are typically not
allowed in Constructed Play.
Since there is great possibility
Constructed Deckbuilding, Banned
Leader, Banned Hero, Restricted
Banned Leader - These cards
cannot be designated as Leaders in
any Deck.
Restricted Leader - You may
only designate one of these cards
as a Leader in a single Deck.
Banned Hero - These cards
cannot be designated as Heroes in
any Deck.
Restricted Hero - You may only
designate a limited number of these
cards as Heroes in a single Deck.
The Cube
A Cube is a collection of cards
that are used to draft. Usually the
Cube is owned by one player, who
provides it for all the players at
the table to use in Deckbuilding.
You can build your own Cube by
combining all of one color of Pixel
Tactics cards you own, or by using
Opaque Sleeves. If you have a large
number of cards, you can customize
your Cube by removing some cards,
in order to create a custom play
experience. You can even include
Promotional Cards in your Cube, if
you feel they are not too powerful
or distracting (not all Promotional
Cards are appropriate for Cube
Drafting, use your discretion when
building your Cube!).
Cube is a casual format, where
players will build card pools first,
then Construct Decks out of these
card pools.
Draft - A draft is a method
of deckbuilding where one gets
their card pool from picking cards
for their pool from small sets of
cards that are passed around
the table.
Pack Draft (3-8 Players)
Winston Draft (2 Players)
Your Cube will need to contain at
least 32 cards per player.
Deal out 80 cards from your Cube
to form a draw Deck. The rest of
the cards will not be used.
Pack Draft is the simplest and most
widely used draft, especially for
large groups.
A Winston Draft is a more strategic
and involved drafting method.
Shuffle the complete cube and deal
out 1 “pack” of 8 cards for each
player, face down. Each player picks
up his pack, and chooses one card
from it. This card will be a Leader
for his Deck. He then passes the
remaining pack to the player sitting
on his left. That player takes one
card to be a Hero for his Deck, and
passes the pack to his left, and so
on, until all cards from the pack are
taken. After this process, every
player should have 1 Leader and 7
Deal 3 face-down cards into the
center of the table, with the Deck
on the far end of the line of cards.
Each of these cards is called a lot.
Repeat this process with new
packs, passing right, then left, then
right again. At the end of the 4th
pack, each player should now have 4
Leaders and 28 Heroes. Players are
allowed to remove up to 3 Heroes
from their Decks and return them
to the Cube, in order to create a
Deck of 25 Heroes. There are many
methods of drafting a Deck, but the
most common is the Pack Draft, and
it is recommended that you begin
with this draft.
-Take one card from the lot and
add it to his Leader pool, then shuffle
the others back into the draw Deck.
This ends his turn.
* For an Epic Pack Draft, you’ll
need 64 cards per player to form
8 packs per player. Only draft a
Leader on the first card of the 1st,
3rd, 5th, and 7th packs. Remember
that your Epic Cube can contain up
to 3 copies of each card!
Decide who is going first. That
player may look at the lot furthest
away from the Deck. He must then
do one of these things:
-Take all the cards in the lot and
add them to his card pool. This ends
his turn. Put a new card from the
top of the deck face down to form
a new lot.
-Add one card face-down from
the draw Deck to the lot, without
looking at it, and then go on to look
at the next lot.
If he chooses to look at the next
lot, he must make the same choice
again. If the player passes on the
last lot, he must take the top card
from the Deck and add it to either
his Hero Deck or Leaders.
When a player’s turn ends, the
next player’s turn begins.
The draft ends after the last card
is taken. Players cannot pass on
the last lot on the table if the draw
Deck is empty.
When the draft ends, if a player
does not have at least 4 Leaders,
Heroes are randomly taken from his
Hero Deck and added to his Leader
pile until he has enough Leaders.
If he has too many, Leaders are
randomly removed from his Leader
Pile into his Hero Deck until he has 4.
If a player has more than 25 Heroes
in his Hero pile, he may return any
number of them to the box to reduce
his Deck. If he has fewer than 25
Heroes in his Hero pile, he must play
with all of the Heroes he has.
Purchase Draft (2-4 Players)
A Purchase Draft is an
intermediate-level draft.
Deal out 29 cards per player from
your Cube to form a draw Deck. The
rest of the cards will not be used.
Give each player 5 coins or tokens.
Deal 5 face-up cards into the
center of the table, with the Deck
on the far end of the line of cards.
Each of these cards is called a lot.
Decide who is going first. On a
player’s turn, they must take one
card from lots present. The lot
furthest from the Deck is free, but
cards closer to the Deck can only
be reached by ‘passing over’ outer
cards, starting with the furthest
card and moving in. For each card
that the player ‘passes over’ when
selecting, he must place one of his
tokens on that card. If he does
not have enough tokens, he cannot
continue to pass over cards. When
a player drafts a lot, he gains all
tokens on that lot.
When a card is drafted, a player
must immediately decide whether it
goes into his Leader Pile or his Hero
Deck. After a card is drafted, shift
all lots away from the Deck to fill
empty space, then reveal a card
from the top of the Deck to form a
new lot. There is always be 5 lots in
play, until the draw Deck runs out.
A player cannot add to his Leader
Pile once it has 4 Leaders, and he
cannot add to his Hero Deck once it
contains 25 Heroes.
The draft tableau. You obtain cards
for your pool here. The closer to
the deck, the more coins it costs.
These modes describe different
ways to play Pixel Tactics. Explore
them all, starting with the easiest,
and moving on to the toughest!
Duel Draft combines the Purchase
Draft rules with actual gameplay,
letting players draft their Decks
during a battle.
Classic Pixel Tactics
Players: 2
Players: 2
Time: 30-60 minutes
Time: 45-75m
Difficulty: Easy
Difficulty: Easy
Any two
Any two Pixel Tactics Decks
Setup is as described in the Core
Game Rules.
Note: In multiplayer modes such as
2v2, cards that refer to “opponents”
can target either. Certain modes like
King may have restrictions on this.
Gameplay is as described in the
Core Game Rules.
In this setup, do not choose a
Leader. Any effects that target a
Leader will not work in this mode.
During this game, because your
Unit does not have a Leader, you will
have 3 Flank Slots for Heroes.
Each player should put the top
two cards of their deck behind each
column so that there are two cards
behind each column. This creates
their fortress.
Gameplay is as described in the
Core Game Rules, with a few changes.
Whenever a player performs a
Melee Attack, if his opponent has
a column that contains no live
Heroes, the player may choose to
Attack their fortress instead. The
attacked player takes one fortress
card in that column and puts it in
their Hand.
successful Melee Attack against a
Rival’s fortress and the Attacked
column has no fortress cards in it.
An Example of Siege Mode
Duel Draft
Duel Draft combines the Purchase
Draft rules with actual gameplay,
letting players draft their Decks
during a battle.
Players: 2
Time: 30-60 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
If the Heroes in
this Unit make a
Melee Attack on
the Rival fortress,
they win.
Two or more Pixel Tactics Decks,
or a 60-card Cube. Some tokens to
use as Gold.
Shuffle the Decks together, so
you have one large Deck with any
number of cards (at least 50 is
recommended though).
Give each player 5 Gold.
If these Heroes
make Melee
Attacks against
the Rival fortress,
their Rival draws
the last card in
their rightmost
Deal the top 5 cards of the Deck
out to form a Draft Tableau, with
the Deck on the end of the tableau.
Players begin by taking 5 Draft
Draw actions, then selecting their
Players do not have access to
the basic ‘Draw’ action, and instead
have access to ‘Draft Draw’ and
‘Gather Funds’ actions below:
Draft Draw
Starting at the far end of the
tableau (away from the Deck), the
player may either take the card or
pass over it. If he passes over a
card, he places one gold onto it. If he
takes the card, he gains all the gold
on it. A player may not pass over
a card if he has no gold. A player
who passes over the last card in
the tableau takes the top card of
the Deck.
When a card is taken from the
tableau, shift all cards in the tableau
towards the far end (away from the
Deck) and deal a new card from the
top of the Deck to fill the empty
A player cannot Draft Draw if he
has 5 cards in hand.
Any draw effects granted by
cards come from the central Deck
as normal.
Gather Funds
As an action, a player may take
all the Gold from one card in the
Tableau, without taking the card
Difficulty: Advanced
Each player will need a Pixel Tactics
Deck. Standard Core Sets work just
as well as built Decks.
Seat yourselves so that each
player is sitting beside his teammate,
opposite the opposing team. Each
player draws and selects a Leader
as normal.
Losing a Leader
When a player is defeated, he sets
aside the defeated Leader as a point
for the opposing team. He reshuffles
his discard pile, hand, Unit, and Deck
to form a new Deck, then draws a
new hand of 4 cards, plus 1 extra
card per point the opposing team
If playing a with built Decks, he
selects a new Leader from his
Leader Pile. Otherwise, he draws
1 extra card and selects a Leader
from his hand.
You can also play to 5 points (or
2 per opponent) for a longer game.
The defeated player then takes
a full Ceasefire Round: 2 actions
in each of the Vanguard, Flank,
and Rear rows, following normal
Ceasefire rules. After this, the game
resumes right where it left off.
A point is awarded each time an
enemy Leader is defeated.
Team Cross Duel Turn Order
A team wins once they accumulate
3 points from one opponent, or 1
point from each opponent.
Turns alternate across the table,
going 1 wave at a time (see the chart
to the right). After a round ends, the
First Player marker passes around
the table in the same direction as
the turn order, and a new round
target either of the enemy Units.
Players can restructure Heroes
into and out of an ally’s Unit using
a Restructure action. They can also
Clear Corpse in an ally’s Unit. When a
B1 Player 1
Player 3
R1 Player 2 Player 4 R2
Owner - The player who begins
the game with a card in his Deck
or his hand is that card’s owner.
Even if the card changes hands or
is stolen, its owner is always the
Players: 6 (3v3)
Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Advanced
Each player will need a Pixel Tactics
Deck. Standard Core Sets work just
as well as built Decks.
Seat yourselves so that teams of
three are sitting on the same side
of the table. The ‘King’ is the player
in the center of his team, and the
‘Knights’ are the players sitting to
the King’s left and right. Play begins
with either King, and proceeds in
waves, as normal.
King Mode Player Layout
King 1
Knight 1
Knight 1
King 2
Time: 60 minutes
Knight 2
Players: 4 (2v2)
card is discarded for any reason, it
always goes to its owner’s discard
Knight 2
Team Cross Duel
When the Rival King’s Leader is
defeated, your team wins!
Turns proceed in clockwise order,
going by Waves as normal.
Other Rules
Knights may move their Heroes into
the King’s Unit, or move Heroes out
of the King’s Unit into their Units.
The King may do the same to either
of his Knights.
Normally you can only attack a
player sitting adjacent to you. This
means that Knights can only attack
the Knight directly across from
them at the game's start. Once
players are eliminated, their seats
available. In addition, you may use a
Long Action to attack a player two
seats away. This allows a King to
attack the rival King, or the King to
attack either of his rival's Knights.
Teammates are not allowed to
communicate about strategy and
are not allowed to reveal the
contents of their hands to one
another. If you want to be more
lenient on communication, players
may ask their Kings or Knights for
help in an attack or a defense, but
still may not ask them for specific
cards or invite them to perform
specific actions.
Epic Duel
c. Clear all Corpses in his Unit, then
freely rearrange his Unit.
Players: 2
Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Advanced
Each player will need an Epic
Format Deck of 60 or more cards.
Setup & Gameplay
1. Shuffle your Hero Deck and set
it to the side. Set your Leaders in a
row to the side of the table faceup.
2. Each player takes his Leaders
into their hand and secretly chooses
one to put into play face-down. That
will be his starting Leader.
remainder of his Leader cards back
face-up beside the board draws 7
Heroes from the Hero Deck to form
his starting hand.
4. Begin the game as normal.
5. Players exchange First and
Second Player Badges after each
Flank Wave.
6. Whenever a Leader is defeated,
its owner discards it immediately
and puts another Leader of his
choice from his Leader set into play.
He may immediately choose and do
one of these actions:
a. Draw until he has 7 cards in
b. Recruit up to 3 times into any
slots, regardless of the current
7. When a Player’s final Leader is
defeated, he loses the game.
Note: In this Game Mode, a Player’s
Maximum Hand Size is 7.
Tournament Play
Tournament Play is best for 4, 8 or
16 players.
A tournament is a series of games
carried out by the same group of
players. You can run a tournament
but Cube Draft Formats are most
common, and are the recommended
format for tournament play.
have some experience organizing
tournaments, since how to organize
and run a tournament is a topic
that could fill its own book. There
videos available to teach this skill.
If players wish to have prizes,
there are play mats, promotional
cards, and more available from
build a custom tournament ladder.
The match format is typically best
of 3 games, with rounds lasting about
1 hour apiece. Feel free to alter the
format of the matches, the length
of games, and even the format of
Deck construction as you like. Just
make sure that everyone knows the
rules before you get started.
Base Cards are special cards used
in League mode. Each Base Card has
2 special features.
One is an Ongoing Effect, which
works continuously during the game.
The second is a Snap Effect, which
can be activated as indicated on the
card. Using the Snap Effect causes
the base to be flipped upside down,
losing both its Snap Effect and its
Ongoing Effect.
Players should build their Decks by
whatever method the tournament
organizer decides on. If you have
a large number of players and you
are drafting Decks, you may need
to have multiple ‘flights’, where each
flight drafts from a different Cube.
After Deck-building is complete,
shuffle around the list of players’
names to build a tournament ladder
and begin playing rounds. If you are
playing with the recommended 4, 8,
or 16 players, this is simple enough.
If you have an odd number of
players, there are many programs
and tutorials available to help you
Base Cards
The base also has a Point Value,
which is used for League Scoring.
Commons are characters with
no Leader Sides (they can only be
played as Heroes). Some Commons
may have no Ability in a certain Zone,
these are indicated by “No Ability”
text. Commons are usable in League
Play and some Deckbuilding formats
and may be included in Cubes.
When a game begins, the Base Card
sits out of play, and begins providing
its Ongoing Effect right away.
As with normal cards, actions on
Ongoing and Snap effects can only
be utilized on your turn, and require
you to spend Actions as usual to
use them.
League Play
A league is an ongoing series of
games carried out over a long
period of time by the same group
of players. Leagues are a nice way
to organize a large group of friends
and play out the game over several
weeks at a time.
League Play introduces a new
kind of card, Bases, that you will
attempt to collect during the league.
When you battle a friend during
the league, you’ll have a chance to
capture their bases and add them
to your score.
League Format
The league takes a fixed group of
players and gives them a set pool of
cards to work with. As you play over
several weeks, you will accumulate
points and add new cards to your
League Card Pool
The chart on the right lists the
minimum number of cards needed in
your pool. If possible, more cards
than the minimum in your pool is
better for play. You may have multiple
copies of cards and commons in
your card pool.
League Draft
Drafting in a League works a little
differently than you might be used
to. Since not everyone will be in the
same place at the same time, draft
like this instead:
1. The League Organizer shuffles
the card pool that's being drafted
(either Leaders or Heroes) and
reveals 3 cards from it.
2. The player drafting chooses to
take one of the revealed cards, and
discard another one to the bottom
of the Deck.
3. The League Organizer reveals
2 more cards from the top of the
Deck, so there are again 3 visible.
4. Jump back to step 2, unless the
required number of cards have been
drafted, in which case the card pool
is put away.
Setting Up a League
The League plays out in a series
of cycles. Players gather at the
beginning of each new cycle to score
the league and get new cards. During
the cycle, players in the league can
meet anywhere and anytime to do
When you first setup the League,
each player drafts 5 Leaders, and
then give each player 25 random
Heroes. This forms their starting
card pool and gives them a standardformat Deck to work with. Players
can add and remove cards from their
Deck at any time, but their Leaders
must remain the same, and their
Deck must have exactly 25 cards.
Also give each player 5 bases (a full
set with their color of border). Each
player should write their Leaders on
their own score pad (page 24).
Minimum Heroes
10 + 5 per player
40 per player
15 + 5 per player
45 per player
20 + 5 per player
50 per player
25 + 5 per player
55 per player
30 + 5 per player
60 per player
30 + 5 per player
65 per player
30 + 5 per player
70 per player
30 + 5 per player
75 per player
recommended that you check the
Banned and Restricted Lists on www.
your card pools. There are also
Suggested League Lists that you can
use to build the card pools for your
league. As the League Organizer, you
can choose which cards are going
into the Hero or Leader pools, to
make for an interesting and unique
League Experience.
You will be introducing new Heroes
and Leaders during the league.
If you don’t have enough unique
cards to cover those required by
the league, it is alright to use up
to 3 copies of each card, and allow
that up to 3 copies of the same
card be used in players’ Decks. It
is recommended that players sleeve
their Heroes in one color, and their
Leaders in another color, so there is
no confusion about which is which.
Note: Only cards obtained in the
League can go into a players’ card
pool. Players cannot bring in
cards from outside the League!
If your league meets at a specific
time and place, you may want
to leave Decks with the league
organizer, so that there is no risk
of accidentally mixing in cards from
a personal collection. Make sure to
clearly label whose Deck is whose!
During a League Cycle, you can
challenge any player, any time,
anywhere. A League opponent is
never under obligation to accept
a challenge. In order to accept a
challenge, both players must have
at least one base card of their
color remaining. A player cannot
alter his Hero Deck once a Challenge
is accepted (but he can decline and
say “Wait, let me update my Deck
for a moment, then challenge me.”).
Each Player chooses which of his
Leaders to play, and selects this
secretly. Then, each player takes
a look at the base cards that his
opponent has available, and secretly
chooses one of them to attack.
Now, play out a game using the
Leader you selected, and the base
your opponent selected.
Win or lose, both Leaders must
retire from the current cycle after
a battle, and cannot be used again.
The base of the defeated player is
also retired, and cannot be used
again. Players should record the
results of the match on their score
sheets and sign off on each others'
Optional Rule
If playing in a medium sized league
(6+ players) you may wish to stipulate
that a single pair of players cannot
battle more than two times per
cycle. If playing in a large league (10+
players) you may stipulate that a
single pair of players cannot battle
more than once per cycle.
Scoring a Cycle
At the end of the cycle, the players
meet again to score. Your score for
the cycle is the total point value of
bases that you’ve captured from
rivals, plus 2 points for each of your
own uncaptured bases (ignoring
their normal point total).
Players may discard any unwanted
Leaders back to the Leader Card
Players now draft Leaders until
they have a total of 5, and Heroes
until they have drafted 5 new
Heroes. These cards are added to
their card pools. Thus, a player's
Hero card pool should increase by 5
each cycle, but his Leader selection
should always remain exactly at 5.
After scoring, the drafting of
Leaders, and the drafting of new
Heroes, the next cycle of the League
After a pre-determined number
of cycles, the League ends, and
the player with the most points is
declared the winner!
Page 24 has a League Scoring Pad
that you can use to keep track of a
Player’s points and League info.
Chase Leaders
You can expand Pixel Tactics in
several ways. New cards provide
access to extra modes, and new
ways to play. Collect all of Pixel
Tactics for the ultimate duel!
Core Sets
Core Sets like Pixel Tactics, Pixel
Tactics 2, Pixel Tactics 3, and so on
can be integrated with your Deck
simply by shuffling them in. Many
modes, such as Classic, Duel Draft,
Siege, and more can be played as
normal with a larger Deck.
In addition to mixing base sets, try
playing with them on their own. Each
has a distinct feel and play style
that you won’t find in the others!
Minipaks are sets of 8 cards
that come with both red and blue
backs. These can be mixed into any
base set to introduce some new
strategies into these base sets.
Note: Deluxe comes with a bonus
Freelancers minipak that you can
use for additional support!
Promotional Cards have Green
Backs, and can be integrated with
any play mode. Just shuffle the
Promotional Card Deck and place
it to the side of the play area. All
players start the game with one
fewer card from their Decks and
one extra Promo card drawn from
the shared Deck. Players also gain
access to the Promo Draw action:
Promo Draw
Discard a card from your hand,
then draw a card from the Promo
Card Deck.
Promotional Cards are often more
casual, and may force you to play
in an unorthodox manner. Build your
Shared Promotional Deck with the
cards you prefer for your style
of play, and try to collect them all!
Promos can also be a lot of fun in
Cube Draft formats, but use your
discretion when including certain
promos, as not all of them are right
for every situation.
Chase Leader Promos have Purple
Backs. These Chase Leaders can be
swapped with the Leader you are
currently using in a game, giving
you a more distinct central Leader.
These are best in Constructed Deck
Formats, but they’re also lots of fun
for League play too! Try to chase
down your favorite Leaders and
make your Deck unique! Pixel Tactics
Deluxe includes a large selection of
Chase Leaders for League Play and
Note: If an effect would refer to
your Leader’s Hero side while using
Chase Leaders, you will still get
that effect. Refer to the card you
replaced with the Chase Leader if
Activate a Trap
Base Cards19
Card Layout3
Cast a Spell
Chase Leaders
Classic Pixel Tactics Mode
Clear a Corpse
Clear a Trap/Operation
Combination Deck
Common Cards
Common Terms and Effects 8
Constructed Deck
Core Sets22
Cube Draft13
Damage and Casualties
Deckbuilding Methods
Draw a Card
Duel Draft Mode
King Mode17
Epic Duel Mode
Epic Format11
Expanding the Game
Recruit a Hero
Scoring a Cycle
Game Flow4
Setting up a League
Game Modes Setup4
Game’s End10
Siege Mode15
Hand Size9
Hero Powers8
Standard Format
Intercept 7
Status Effects
Leader Actions
League Card Pool Sizes
League Draft 20
Team Cross Duel Mode
League Format
Tips and Tricks
League Play20
Tournament Play
Melee Attacks7
Winston Draft13
Next Game10
Pack Draft13
Passive Abilities
Place a Trap
Play an Operation
Play an Order
Purchase Draft
Ranged Attacks
World of Indines
Pixel Tactics is part of the World
of Indines–a collection of games
featuring recurring characters in a
vibrant fantasy world. Many of the
characters in Pixel Tactics appear
in BattleCON: War of Indines, Argent:
the Consortium, Seven Card Slugfest,
Disc Duelers, and other games within
this series.
Visit for
more information on the World of
Indines and its characters.
Name: Leaders
Cycle #:
Name: Leaders
Cycle #:
Name: Leaders
Cycle #:
Battle Record
Battle Record
Battle Record
Total Bases
Total Bases
Total Bases
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